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Koshy Thomas a great asset for the community: Sen. Kevin Thomas

Jericho, NY: “We are growing in numbers and influence, and we need a voice in the NYC Council,” said New York State Senator Kevin Thomas inaugurating a fundraiser at Cotillion restaurant here on May 2.  “At the end of the day, we need someone who has ties to the community, has organized events and has given back to the community, and has a good heart. So, on election day, make sure that he gets your vote for NYC Council,” he added. 

At the event many community leaders expressed their support for Koshy Thomas who is running for District 23 (Eastern Queens) of NYC Council. Ashok Vora, a businessman from that district, said, Koshy has the courage to stand up for the community and \has a great chance to win the election on June 22. 

Kamlesh Mehta, businessman and publisher of The South Asian Times, characterized Koshy as a polite but persistent person who can get things done.  Dilip Chauhan, a community leader, lauded Koshy’s work as one of the architects of the India Day Parade and urged the community to help elect him. 

George Abraham, Vice-Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, asked the community to pool our resources and manpower to create history in electing the first Asian Indian to the NYC Council. George Parampil spoke about encouraging Koshy to run and emphasized the need for a “go-to” person in this complex environment. 

Those promising their support for Koshy Thomas included Regi Kurian, President of the Kerala Cultural Association of North America, and Dr. Thomas Mathew, former President of AKMG (Association of Kerala Medical Graduates) as well as Rev. John Thomas, Rev. John Melapuram, V.M. Chacko, Varghese Abraham, Mary Philip, Paul Chulliyil, Hema Virani, and Lona Abraham. Ajit Abraham and  Biju Chacko were the emcees. 

Contact for Koshy Thomas: 347-867-1200 

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Latest News USA

Rotary Club of Hicksville South (RCHS) celebrates official nonprofit status

The Rotary Club of Hicksville South (RCHS) members celebrated their official 501©(3) status on March 26 and the IRS made it applicable since Nov. 2019. The club members cut a cake at Royale Restaurant in Holiday Inn Garden City, to celebrate its charitable status where all donations received by RCHS for their charitable endeavors would be Federal Tax Exempt. President Nilima Madan, Rotary District 7255 Governor Jacquelyn Yonick, Club Founder President and PDG Kamlesh Mehta along with many Past Presidents and club members were present. 

RCHS also recently held its Annual Undergarments Give Away Project, at the outdoor premises of Mid-Island Y JCC, in Plainview, Long Island, NY. President Nilima Madan and club members were joined by NYS Senator Kevin Thomas, the Superintendent of the Town of Oyster Bay, Joseph Saladino and Sohail Ranat who represented the NYS Senator, Anna Kaplan. Others present for this charity giveaway event were the Rotary District 7255 Governor Jacquelyn Yonick, RCHS Founder President and PDG, Kamlesh Mehta, Past President and AG, Quddus Mohammed, Past Presidents, Dave Vyas Sharma, Roopam Bhambri Maini, Dr. Urmilesh Arya, Service Project Director Jasbir Singh, Sergeant at Arms Rekha Gupta, VP Anu Gulati and Rizwan Qureshi with other Club members. 

President Nilima Madan appreciated the presence of the officials who made time always to support RCHS events and their club’s community charity efforts. She thanked major donors, VP Rizwan Qureshi of HAB Bank, Dr. Raj Modi and Dr. Jay Sarkar who made the event possible besides others. She mentioned past giveaway projects to the needy in the community done by RCHS year after year and spoke about the continued effort for the current project by Chairs  Anu Gulati and Dr Meera Rao. 

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Latest News USA

Indo American Community hosts virtual candlelight vigil against Asian hate crimes

A virtual candle light vigil event against Asian Hate Crimes was organized by Indo American Community Voice (IACV) on April 11, 2021 led by President Bina Sabapathy. Previously, IACV had their first successful event on Swastika Awareness on March 21st.

The vigil started with American National anthem. In a first of its kind, the event hosted many organizations on one platform and represented communities from India, Bangladesh, China, Korea, Nepal, Pakistan and Taiwan. The zoom event emphasized the need of a united front among South Asians to join together and voice against any hate crimes or injustice done. The event helped to build bridges by sharing cross-cultural issues among South Asian ethnicities and organizations. For attendees, they saw this as an opportunity to stand up for their community. The vigil saw various leaders from various racial demographics denounce white hegemony and racial bullying. The organizers and participants of the vigil hoped to bring awareness to the frightening hate crimes committed against Asian Americans in the United States. Speakers of the day were Lionel Chitty, Director of Minority Affairs, Nassau County, Padmashree Dr. Sudhir Parikh, Dr. Uma Mysorekar, Kay Kim and Kamlesh Mehta. Religious leaders like Dr. Ravindra Goyal, Sridhar Shanmugham, Pundit Hemanth and Maa Chandra Bharathi, Gobind Munjal and organizational and community leaders like Sunil Hali, Dr. Jay Sarkar, Fred Fu, Gopi Dhungwana, Qamar Bashir, Patsy Chen, Christopher Tung, Ajith Bhaskar, Indu Jaiswal, Jasbir Singh, Dr. Anila Midha, Koshy Thomas, Beena Kothari, Jyothi Gupta, Suhag Mehta and Y. J. Andy Cheng.

The event had a slideshow on “Love, Peace, Faith & Hope” and a virtual candle light vigil with all attendees holding candles in their homes in solidarity for the cause. The event concluded with peace prayer by Maa. Chandra Bharathi. Balaji Nagaraj, IACV board member delivered a vote of thanks. Other IACV board members Dr. Ravindra Goyal, Dr. Rakesh Sharma, Sridhar Shanmugham, Pradeep Tandon, Pooja Makhijani and Dr. Bhavani Srinivasan ably supported the event.

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e-paper-stories Latest News

Anti-Swastika Bill is officially buried, Indian Americans relieved

By The SATimes Team

New York: The well-intentioned but ill-informed New York Senate Bill 6648  (a.k.a. #S2727) that had agitated the Indian community for being anti-Swastika has finally been dropped.

NYS Senator Kevin Thomas in a statement to The South Asian Times broke the good news: “After working together with South Asian and Jewish community leaders, cultural organizations, and other interfaith coalitions, the bill sponsor (of S6648 a.k.a. S2727)) is discontinuing the bill to avoid perpetuating misunderstanding and misuse towards the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Native American communities.”  

On receiving a call from Senator Thomas Thursday, United Front of Indian Americans in North America (UFINA) co-founder Kamlesh Mehta thanked and congratulated him for his initiative and cooperation in dropping the Hate Sign Bill.  Consul General of India in New York, Hon. Randhir Jaiswal, messaged Mehta congratulating the community for the successful efforts in saving the Swastika.

A major error against the historic facts of the auspicious Sanatan symbol of harmony and well-being has been avoided in time.  New York State Democratic Committee Chairman J. Jacobs had also assured the community on March 10 in a Zoom meeting that the Hate Sign Bill will not go anywhere.

Indian American community is relieved and delighted by the good news right before Holi.

Notably many community leaders including Dr. Uma Mysorekar, co-founders of UFINA Kris Rudra, Mukesh Modi, Dr. Jay Sarkar, Dr. Raj Bhayani, and Balaji Nagraj, Vibhuti Jha, Nilima Madan, Bina Sabapathy, Uma Sengupta, Sridhar Shanmugam, Dr. Urmilesh Arya,  Dr. Ravi Goyal, and Pradeep Tandon were active in the campaign against the Bill. Organizations such as CoHNA and HAF besides UFINA were also working to stop this bill.

In his statement, Senator Thomas clarified the intention of the bill: “Educating students about hatred, racism, and bigotry is essential. This is even more urgent, given the recent increase in hate crimes against the Jewish and Asian American communities within the State of New York. Bill S6648 was introduced with the intention of fostering a more inclusive and tolerant society by teaching students to recognize symbols of hate,”

However, he continued, “Any policy that is intended to help combat hatred, anti-Semitism, and racism through education must be mindful of the context of symbols across different religions and cultures.”

The bill had included Swastika as a hate sign because of its misplaced association with the Nazi flag and symbol which is called Hakenkreuz.

Said Senator Thomas “Now more than ever, it is vital that we equip our children with proper knowledge about world cultures and religions, and recommit ourselves to fighting hatred and bigotry in all forms.”

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Articles Latest News

Presenting Person of the Year 2020

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings for a healthy, joyous, and prosperous New Year.

2020 was the year for Prayers, and we hope 2021 will bring Progress in everyone’s life.

COVID-19 has affected the lives of the entire humanity. Hopefully the frightening darkness of the pandemic will dissipate this year and coming times will bring back good health, more happiness and better prosperity for all.

The Team @ The South Asian Times is proud to present our New Year Special issue. With your esteemed support, your favorite newspaper has completed 12 years of its glorious publication. We continued to serve the community interrupted even during the pandemic. We are thankful to our loyal supporters, patrons, and colleagues for their invaluable cooperation during the testing times.

As every year, we start our New Year with an incredibly special edition concluding the year past by featuring The South Asian Times ‑ Person of the Year.

There are always so many people who have contributed to impacting the lives of many thousands. We congratulate and admire all those who keep giving back to the community and helping humanity move forward. In the last 11 years, we have proudly featured amazing persons who have transformed thousands of lives with their Generous help, Guidance and by sharing their Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom.

This year, we are proud to present a person who is an ocean of humanitarian service, an iconic philanthropist, who has truly made a difference in the lives of needy people in many parts of the world, and continues to do so. So quietly and humbly that many of us do not even know the sheer volume of his services and contributions. He is a very prominent Indian American based on Long Island, New York, an individual who has become a veritable Institution of Global Humanitarian Services, a dedicated volunteer who amazingly harnesses his conviction of personal & public, combined & collective contributions to multiply the resources for the benefit of humanity globally. A philanthropist who is a highly accomplished educationist & well-respected community leader as well.

Forsythe Multimedia Group is pleased and honored to announce and feature Mr. Ravishankar Bhooplapur as “The South Asian Times ‑ Person of the Year 2020”.

Mr. Bhooplapur is an illustrious and inspirational role model. His extraordinary accomplishments and endeavors as Humanitarian, Philanthropist, Educationist, Entrepreneur, and Community Leader are truly inspirational for many. He is richly decorated, with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and many more magnificent awards. Recently he became the only South Asian member of the most prestigious & exclusive Legacy Club of Rotary International.

Our New Year & Person of the Year special issues have been read by well over half a million people all over the world, and they are proudly displayed by many families on their coffee tables and kept in their collectibles. Please contact us if you wish to have a hard copy, we will gladly mail you with our compliments.

Since its inception, The South Asian Times has earned an immaculate reputation for its excellence in journalism, value-based content, clean display, and qualitative advertising. Our unique vision has continuously set new trends and standards in the South Asian media fraternity of America, both in print and online.

We the team @ The South Asian Times sincerely thank all our readers and supporters who have been integral partners in our gracious presence and success. Hope you will enjoy the New Year Special issue. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome,

Kamlesh C. Mehta
Chairman & Publisher thesatime | The Southasian times

Letter from the Publisher

Kamlesh C. Mehta

Chairman @ TheSouthAsianTimes.Info

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Latest News New York

Rotary Club of Hicksville South hosts Zoom call on COVID-19 vaccine awareness

RCHS – the Rotary Club of Hicksville South hosted an important Zoom Meeting/Call on December 17, 2020, at 8 PM EST, inviting community leaders to join a round table discussion. The goal for the call was for creating awareness about the COVID-19 vaccination and prioritizing its distribution to the needy in the South Asian Community in Long Island, New York. 

Under the leadership of the Club President, Nilima Madan and the Founding President and the PDG, Kamlesh Mehta, the Zoom Call was well attended and briefly many community leaders spoke besides some public officials. With the final possibility of a vaccine to be made available publicly, as was declared by the Federal Government, and which has been in its distribution process on the basis of most needy first, all are looking forward to being vaccinated and finally feel safe.

Nilima Madan opened the discussion and invited the guests, one by one, to speak for a few minutes each. Due to the critical importance of the topic, many community leaders and dignitaries joined the call and expressed their opinions and shared their concerning views for facing and handling the pandemic with the arrival of the new vaccine. To name a few of the honorable guests and speakers, there was Honorable Consul General of India in New York, Randhir Jaiswal, NY State Senator Kevin Thomas, Nassau County’s Asian American Affairs Director, Farrah Mozawalla.

Indian American Community Leadership of various organizations, such Dr. Urmilesh Arya, Ankur Vaidya, Anil Bansal, Harish Thakkar, Isma Chowdhry, Sudhir Vaishnav, Gunjan Rastogi Gobind Munjal, Jay Mody, Roopam Maini, Quddus Mohammed, Aleya Jung, Mizan Rahman, Arjen Bathija, Alok Kumar, Vimal Goel, Narinder Kapoor, Vibhuti Jha,Dr Pandhi,  Nagendra Gupta, Bala Nagraj, Krish Rudra, Gobind Bathija, Bina Sabapathy, Mukesh Modi, Indu Jaiswal, Asha Dharawat, Koshy Thomas, Sunil Hali, Sandy Bhatia, Dr Vipul Patel, Dave Sharma, Dr Bhavani Srinivasan, Jyoti Gupta, Pinky Jaggi and many healthcare professionals, medical doctors addressed the attendees on the call.

Most speakers emphasized on the (a) availability of the vaccine free of costs, (b) the importance of being vaccinated by all members of our community, (c) giving the priority to the most needy ones – the frontline service providers first, and (d) the importance of continuing with the all-safety measures, including maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding public gatherings or large parties during the upcoming holiday season.  

The speakers have also acknowledged the importance of following the FDA guideline in distributing the vaccines to the general public, as it has started phase by phase of distribution of the vaccine, starting at the beginning of December. As per the FDA guideline the health care personnel and residents of long-term-care facilities will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine in the initial phase of the vaccination program.

There was a Q&A session towards the end of the meeting and Kamlesh Mehta thanked everyone who had joined the call. Ms. Madan asked everyone to be in contact for the coordination of the vaccination effort in the community. Club Secretary, Mizan Rahman concluded the zoom meeting wishing everyone for a happy holiday season and being safe out there.

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Latest News USA

Gandhi 150 finale by Shanti Fund on Long Island

Hicksville, NY: Last year as part of Gandhi@150, Consulate General of India in New York in partnership with Long Island based Gandhian organization Shanti Fund  with the Indian community’s help created the Gandhi Peace Garden with 150 trees from 50 US states in the Old Westbury campus of SUNY. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Gandhi 150 finale at the Peace Garden on October 1 was attended by Consul General Randhir Jaiswal as well other dignitaries and representatives of Shanti Fund. CG Jaiswal also paid his respects at the life-size statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the foyer of Suffolk County’s executive building, in Hauppauge, Long Island.

The events, according to Shanti Fund’s Arvind Vora, were widely covered by the media with The South Asian Times making it front page news. They were broadcast live by the Consulate on its Facebook page with a viewership of 3000 people. In the evening on October 2, the enhanced birthday celebration of Gandhi was on Zoom, thanks to Dr. Narendra Bhalodkar and Paresh Raval. ITV on its evening program covered the event with a 12-minute segment, anchored by Ashok Vyas.

After Amb. Jaiswal’s return from Hauppauge, a luncheon at Chennai Dosa was hosted by Forsythe Media Group, publisher of  The South Asian Times. Kamlesh Mehta welcomed the guests and highlighted Shanti Fund’s dedication to disseminate Gandhi’s teachings among thousands of students on Long Island. Amb. Jaiswal was felicitated with a bouquet by community leader and publisher of Hum Hindustani, Jasbir Jay Singh. Nilima Madan, President of Rotary Club of Hicksville South, presented a bouquet to Arvind Vora, chief volunteer of Shanti Fund. The honoree of Shanti Fund Jayantibhai Shah was felicitated by Harish Thakkar, President AIA-NY.

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Latest News New York USA

Rotary Club of Jericho Sunrise installs Executive Team for 2020-2021

The Rotary Club of Jericho Sunrise had the installation ceremony of its new executive team on July 17 at Metropolitan Caterers.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran made the incoming President Priya Suri take the oath.  She took time out to address the audience and take a few pictures with the team before heading out. 

Past Rotary District Governor Wendy Walsh did the honor of swearing in the rest of the executive team and two new members.

Dr Meenu Heda Maheshwari is the new vice president, Dr Shaifali Rametra – secretary, Sarita Hirani – joint secretary, Sangeeta Bahl – treasurer and Sandita Parker – sergeant at arms. 

The prestigious Paul Harris Award recipient for excellence in service and support of the club went to Eric Hirani (son of Rotarian Sarita Hirani). 

PDG Ravishankar Bhooplapur and PDG Kamlesh Mehta along with all several Rotarian sisters attended the event. 

PDG Ravishankar Bhooplapur handing over Paul Harris Award to Eric Hirani. PDG Kamlesh Mehta (second from right) also seen in the photo. thesatime | The Southasian times

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Latest News New York

Rich tributes paid to Ramesh Patel, the tallest community leader

By SATimes Team

New York:  The founder and Chairman of FIA (NY-NJ-CT) whose legacy of making India Day Parade in NYC the largest celebration of India’s independence outside the India will live on, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on June 6 from Covid-19 complications. 

Arguably the tallest leader of the Indian community leader in the USA for five decades, he  served the Indian diaspora selflessly and wholeheartedly through FIA (Federation of Indian Associations), National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA) and other regional/cultural organizations by serving at top positions.

Fondly known as ‘Kaka’ within the community, he also successfully led many a battle on behalf of the community and India, for example:

  • Retaining Family reunification bill in 1984
  • Successful fight against Dot-Busters in 1988
  • Successful and huge rally in Washington DC to stop Pakistan from getting advanced military equipment from the US.

India’s Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu expressed condolences on the death of Patel: “Very sad to learn about the passing away of Ramesh Patel, Chairperson of FIA, after 2 month long fight against COVID-19. A highly respected Indian American Community leader, we will miss him very much. RIP!”

India’s Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty called Patel’s death a big loss to the Indian American community: “A pioneer who brought together the Community & worked on many issues. I particularly value his strong support to the Consulate.”

HH Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, has offered prayers after learning of the passing of Indian community leader Ramesh Patel.

Patel’s passing “leaves a void too big to be filled,” FIA president Anil Bansal said. He described Patel as a kind, supportive and strong person who guided the FIA for the past 50 years with his dynamic leadership and vision.

Kamlesh Mehta, Chairman of The South Asian Times said, “The demise of Shri Rameshbhai Patel is a huge loss to the Indian American diaspora, he solely kept India shining for almost 50 years in the East Coast USA.” He pointed out that  to honor the dedication and visionary leadership of Ramesh Patel and contributions of the organization he built, “we featured  FIA as “The South Asian Times-Organization of the Year 2015”.  

Ramesh Patel worked in the forensic investigation division of the New York Police Department before retirement and was honored with the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2013.

Patel, 78, is survived by his wife Sucheta, son Suvas and daughters Manisha and Kunjal.

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